President Muhamadu Buhari has called for a positive change of attitude among Nigerians. He noted that positive change can best be achieved and maintained through positive attitudinal change and mindset in both private and public life.
President Buhari gave this advice on Thursday, in Abuja during the launch of National Re-orientation Campaign entitled: “Change Begins With Me.”
He decried that Nigeria is passing through a challenging moment were hardly anything works in a normal manner, due to phenomenal breakdown of the country’s core values over the years.
According to him, “Nigeria today is passing through a challenging moment where hardly anything works in a normal manner. Many have attributed this phenomenon to the total breakdown of our core values over the years.
“Rather than sit back and complain endlessly, we have decided to act pragmatically, with the launch of this National Re-orientation Campaign. The campaign will not be a sprint but a marathon that will run the course of our tenure. We are under no illusion that the changes we seek will happen overnight, but we have no doubt that the campaign will help restore our value system and rekindle our nationalistic fervor.
He noted that one of the serious effort the current administration had engaged in since the inception of this administration on the fight against corruption was to put in place sustainable framework for action and measures that will help to entrench and consolidate the progress achieved so far.
He said there is no doubt that the country’s value system had been badly eroded over the years, adding that the long-cherished and time honoured, time-tested virtues of honesty, integrity, hard work, punctuality, good neighbourliness, abhorrence of corruption and patriotism, have given way in the main to dishonesty, indolence, unbridled corruption and widespread impunity.
“The resultant effect of this derailment in our value system is being felt in the social, political and economic sphere. It is the reason that some youths will take to cultism and brigandage instead of studying hard or engaging in decent living; it is the reason that some elements will break up pipelines and other oil facilities in the country, thus robbing the nation of much-needed resources; it is the reason that money belonging to our commonwealth will be brazenly stolen by the same public officials to whom they were entrusted; it is the reason why motorist drive through red traffic lights, it is the reason that many will engage in thuggery and vote-stealing during elections; it is part of what has driven our economy into deep problem out of which we are now working hard to extricate ourselves.
“Every one of us must have a change from our old ways of doing things, we cannot fold our arms and allow things to continue the old way.
“We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long. Let us summon a new spirit of responsibility, spirit of service, of patriotism and sacrifice, Let us all resolve to pitch in and work hard and look after, not only ourselves but one another, What the current problem has taught us is that we cannot have a thriving army of rent seekers and vested interests, while the majority suffers.”
President Buhari however appealed to all Nigerians to be part of the re-orientation campaign. He said that Nigerians must realize that the change they want to see begins with them, and that personal and social reforms are not theoretic exercise. “If you have not seen the change in you, you cannot see it in others or even the larger society. In other words, before you ask ‘where is the change they promised us’, you must first ask how far have I changed my ways ‘what have I done to be part of the change for the greater good of society.”
He added that while the government will drive the campaign, it must be strongly supported by all concerned individually, including the private sector which is a major stakeholder.
Earlier in his presentation, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed noted that the re-orientation Pan Nigeria Campaign has no political, religious or ethnic colouration whatsoever.
Alh. Mohammed said that the campaign is meant for all Nigerians, with the sole objective of achieving a paradigm shift in the way things are done, adding that the campaign’s principle is that everyone must be the change they want to see in the society.
“Therefore, we will expect all the states of the federation to partner with us, especially through the provision of air time on their radio and television stations. This way we can reach every Nigerian,” he said.
In addition to being multi-media, he said the campaign will be carried out in all the major Nigerian languages, which will be youth driven and will leverage heavily on social media.
In his welcome address, the director general, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Mallam Garba Abari said that all aspects of the country’s national need a new beginning and orientation.
He added that the NOA will use the campaign to elaborate link to achieve positive attitudinal change in the country.
The campaign will convey messages which include among others, discourage activities of religious extremism, corruption, vandalism, prostitution, exam malpractice, yahoo yahoo, punctuality, honesty and intolerance.